Referring again to the distance, the part to the left of the line C D has not been hopped, but only equalized by gentle dabbing. Were this portion hopped, it would in all probability acquire too much contrast, and so cease to be in the middle distance. We thus see that " hopping " gives strength and vigour, while a more gentle brush action softens contrast and enables the worker to keep the distance in its proper place.
By Courtesy of " The Amateur Photographer."
Difficulty is sure to be found in working the sky. That portion below the line E F shows the sky roughly inked over, while the upper part shows how it may be evened by continued dabbing. It must be remembered that the sky, being often quite white, or, at all events, very light, Will have a tendency to refuse the ink. It may, therefore, be necessary to slightly thin the ink for working up the sky. A plain sky may be worked in, keeping it slightly lighter towards the horizon. If desired, clouds may be added, hopping out the lighter side of the cloud and dabbing in the shadow side, for it must be remembered that a cloud is a more or less rounded mass. This naturally requires a good deal of practice, practice based, too, on careful observation of cloud forms. It will be found difficult, if not impossible, to get the light edges of cloud coming against the blue sky sufficiently crisp in places, but when the print has dried for four-and-twenty hours, one or two crisp touches may be added with a bit of pointed rubber, taking great care not to overdo this and produce too much defined edge.
THE FINISHED PRINT.
The prints being finished, we may want to touch out defects or alter certain values, and perhaps a word or two on means for the purpose may be acceptable. In our early essays we shall be troubled with hairs coming out of the brushes or short pieces of hair which have broken off during work. Proper manipulation of brushes and pigment reduce these troubles to a minimum, but should they occur, don't worry about their removal from the wet print. After the print has been dried by hanging it up with print hangers for say a day, the greater number of the long hairs can be removed or brushed off with the tip of the finger. Small pieces of hair and pigments can be scraped away by means of a " retouching pen " and such retouching pens are also useful for scraping in a high-light on a dry print. Where it is desired to put in a high-light on a wet print, plastic rubber, moulded to a point in the fingers, will be found a great boon, while ordinary rubber of good quality will be found useful for lightening portions of dry prints. The ball of the finger rubbed over any portion of a print that is nearly dry will soften down any harsh contrasts wonderfully, but generally speaking it is better to get the effect during the pigmenting.
As to the artistry of pigmenting it is scarcely possible to say anything. Everything depends on the worker himself. Bromoil will give what is practically a straight print, but of quite a different character and quality from the original bromide. It will enable the worker to make slight modifications in effect, such as that in the pair of examples I have chosen to illustrate this note. The production of a goodly number of Bromoil prints has shown pretty conclusively that the process places as great a power of control in its user's hands as the oil process itself.
MOUNTING THE PRINT.
Care must be taken to get the print thoroughly dried before mounting. Should it be necessary to mount immediately after pigmenting, first dry the print, then let the steam from a kettle play upon the pigmented surface and dry again before a fire. It is a curious proceeding to use moisture for drying the pigments, but apparently the steam has an oxidizing action on the oil in the ink, and the treatment suggested renders it less liable to damage ; but at all times care must be taken that there is no rubbing or unnecessary handling of the surface, which, for some days at least, is delicate. If there is no urgency it is certainly better to keep the print for some time before mounting. When the print is thoroughly dry, the dry-mounting process may be used, but when mounting within a few hours after pigmenting, it is safest to place the print face downwards on a sheet of waxed paper, and well rub into the back by means of the finger, some Johnson's Mountant, then place in position on the mount, lay a sheet of waxed paper on the surface and roll lightly with a roller squeegee. The edges may possibly show some little signs of coming away from the mount, particularly when the print is on a thick paper, but if a sheet of plate glass is placed on top of the Bromoil and it is left for five or six hours, the result will be found quite satisfactory.